Raising dam wall back on

HIGH TIDE: Rous Water Council member Sue Meehan has tabled a motion to cost the raising of the Rocky Creek Dam wall by eight metres.
HIGH TIDE: Rous Water Council member Sue Meehan has tabled a motion to cost the raising of the Rocky Creek Dam wall by eight metres. Jacklyn Wagner

RAISING the Rocky Creek Dam wall by up to 8 metres is back on the table as one the options to meet future water demand in the Northern Rivers.

Following a notice of motion regarding the option from new Rous Water Council member Sue Meehan at last Wednesday's meeting, Rous Water will now develop an engineering concept and put a cost to raising the dam wall by eight metres and consider it alongside other options currently in the mix.

"We need to get serious about our water supply in the median term future and it makes sense to have this option on the table," said Cr Meehan.

"I want to see all the options fully explored sooner rather than later."

The raising of the dam wall was part of a group of strategies included in Rous Water's Future Water Strategy including building desalination plants, utilising groundwater, looking at demand management, boosting efficient consumer behaviour, the use of rainwater tanks, accessing water form the Toonumbar Dam and building a new dam at Dunoon.

Rous Water's Technical Services Director, Wayne Franklin, said raising the wall would be re-included as an option after being excluded at an earlier stage in the process due to engineering and environmental considerations.

"Extending the dam wall would almost amount to building a new dam over the top of the existing dam," Mr Franklin said.

"If we altered the existing dam we would also need to make allowances for environmental flows which would result in the loss of so much water there would not be a reasonable increase in the secure water yields.

"Rocky Creek Dam is also surrounded by National Park and the dam extension would flood a large area."

Fellow Rous Water Councillor Vanessa Ekins was also concerned that the option to raise the Rocky Creek Dam had been dismissed as an option by Rous Water in favour of the Dunoon Dam option.

"Rous Water seems to want to pursue the Dunoon Dam project at all costs rather than looking at strategies such as demand management," Cr Ekins said.

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